Attention exporters to the EU:Inspectors start to check internet sales of chemicals
View: Date:2018-08-13

ECHA Enforcement Forum group (Enforcement Forum) hold meetings three times a year to discuss enforcement supervise on regulation of REACH, CLP and PIC. The most recent meeting was the 30th, which took place on 19 June and 20 June, and mainly focus on the following contents:

Topic 1. ECHA begins to pay attention to and supervise online sales 

The eighth major Forum enforcement project (REF-8) will concentrate on online sales of substances, mixtures and articles. One reason for this focus is the high rate of non compliance detected in the Forum’s pilot project on internet sales. The detailed scope to be checked under REF-8 is yet to be defined. It is expected to include restrictions and labelling duties for hazardous chemicals. The project will be prepared in 2019 and carried out in 2020, with the report expected to be published by the end of 2021.

The following is an overview of the Internet sales supervision pilot project conducted by Enforcement Forum:

Enforcement Forum began to carry out the pilot project of Internet sales product supervision in March 2016. The actual supervision was conducted from January to August 2017 by national law enforcement authorities through the manual and questionnaire survey on controlling Internet sales compiled by Enforcement Forum. 15 countries participated in the pilot project with 1 314 questionnaires completed by 14countries for inspections of website advertisements of mixtures classified as a hazardous.

Inspectors checked the following types of distribution websites: the professional supplier’s own webshop (95.9%) and only 2.4% were internet auctions/platforms. The search engines most often used by the NEAs were: Google (1 114), Bing (13), Seznam(13), Amazon (3), Ecosia (2), Yellow Pages (2), Pages d’Or (1). The main type of mixtures according to their use were household (37.7%) and construction products (16.7%).

Information was provided correctly according to Article 48(2) requirements for only 220(16.7%) of the checked advertisements on the internet. No information provided on hazard statements and/or supplementary hazard statementsI (902), The information on the hazard statements provided is not complete (e.g. H-codes instead of phrases)(55), The text of the hazard statements is not in the official language of relevant MSs which are addressed with the Article 48(2) advertisement(98), Other non-compliance(172). During the spot-check, officials issued 124 oral recommendations, 460 written recommendations and 184 executive orders.Of those, 280 involved fines.Four cases were filed criminally, or turned over to prosecutors.

Advice given by ECHA in this survey:

1、Recommendations to the Forum

The Forum members that did not participate in the project should consider conducting national inspections to control internet sales of mixtures classified as hazardous and investigate if they comply with Article 48(2) of the CLP Regulation.


Based on the high rate of non-compliance observed in the results of the project, the Forum could consider including the topic on the control of internet sales in a future REF project.

2、Recommendation to enforcement authorities and inspectors
The national enforcement authorities should continue to perform inspections.

3、Recommendation to industry
Industry and trade associations could develop common strategies to clarify what is a lawful sale on the internet. For this purpose, a collection of positive examples could also be compiled by industry and distributed to associations for the information of the companies concerned.

4、Recommendation to the Commission

Specification of the wording of Article 48 (2) of CLP to avoid undefined legal concepts. The development of a guideline should be considered to facilitate the online retailer's implementation of Article 48 (2) of CLP and to determine how to achieve online trade within the meaning of the Regulation.

Topic 2. ECHA will launch a pilot project of authorized regulation focusing on hexavalent chromium compounds and other substances in 2020

The Forum also agreed that inspections for the pilot project on authorisation focusing on chromium VI compounds and other substances will take place in 2020. This will allow inspectors to target more substances and give downstream users sufficient time to notify their authorised uses to ECHA. The inspectors will target companies that are using substances of concern without the required authorisation. Additionally, they will check that authorisation holders and their downstream users comply with the conditions of the authorisation decision.

Topics 3. Latest progress of the REF-5 project

During the meeting, Forum members also discussed the preliminary results of the REF-5 project on exposure scenarios, extended safety data sheets and the implementation of risk management measures and operational conditions. The aim of the project is to check communication in the supply chain and consistency of the extended safety data sheets with the content of the chemical safety reports. The project also looks at whether the risk management measures recommended in the exposure scenarios are actually implemented in the workplace. 29 countries participated in the project. A total of 898 inspections were carried out in collaboration between labour and environmental inspectors. The report is currently being prepared and its adoption and publication are foreseen for the end of 2018. The results of the REF-5 project will be presented at the Forum-31 open session for stakeholders planned for 14 November 2018 in Brussels.

In order to help enterprises timely respond to their obligations, we will keep track of the official regulatory developments and pass regulations on early warning. All import enterprises should check their own products. If you encounter problems, please contact with Jireh standards in time. We will help you to analyze and complete the corresponding response.